The Orioles have had a total of six no-hitters since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954. Unless you’re an O’s fan living under a rock, you know that John Means became the most recent inclusion on that illustrious list after his performance yesterday afternoon against the Mariners in Seattle.
Means’ unforgettable outing — in which he threw 113 pitches (79 strikes) en route to a complete-game no-hitter that included 12 strikeouts — was the Orioles’ first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969.
So let’s take a stroll down memory lane and remember those five other Orioles’ no-hitters that have occurred since the franchise moved to Baltimore from St. Louis.
Hoyt Wilhelm - September 20, 1958
Near the end of the ‘58 season, O’s fans were treated to a no-hitter against the Yankees at Memorial Stadium, courtesy of Hoyt Wilhelm. Wilhelm was acquired from the Indians in August of 1958 and started only four games for the O’s that year, including this no-hitter.
The Birds’ right-hander walked two — one in the third inning and one in the fourth — and struck out eight. Besides allowing baserunners in those two innings, Wilhelm retired seven Yankees hitters in a row to start the game and got the final 17 outs in a row to finish it.
Steve Barber and Stu Miller - April 30, 1967
A pair of O’s pitchers combined to spin a very interesting no-hitter against the Tigers at Memorial Stadium in ‘67 in which the Orioles lost the game. Baltimore’s starter, Steve Barber, actually made it through 8.2 innings and stranded 11 Tigers on base before getting yanked from the game. His final pitching line included two runs (one earned), an astounding 10 walks, three strikeouts, and zero hits. He also hit two batters.
With two outs in the ninth and runners on second and third, Barber uncorked a wild pitch to plate the tying run. Stu Miller then entered in relief to try to get the final out of the inning. He induced a ground ball that resulted in an error, a run scored, and everyone being safe, with the Tigers taking the lead. One batter later, Miller got a ground ball that was handled cleanly this time and completed the no-hitter, but the Orioles did not score in the bottom of the ninth and lost, 2-1.
Tom Phoebus - April 27, 1968
On a cloudy, rainy day at Memorial Stadium, 5’ 8” Tom Phoebus earned his spot in baseball immortality. The former Mount St. Joseph’s High School alumnus held the Red Sox in check for nine straight innings, with a final score the same as John Means’ no-hitter: 6-0.
Phoebus walked three batters in the game, two of which came in the first inning. He breezed through the rest of the outing, walking just one other batter in the sixth. His nine total strikeouts were all the more impressive, considering his career mark of 6.3 SO/9.
The Orioles’ starter was no slouch with the bat either, going 2-for-4 in the game with a run scored and a RBI.
Jim Palmer - August 13, 1969
Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Jim Palmer no-hit the A’s on Baltimore’s home turf, Memorial Stadium. He was effectively wild on that particular day, walking six Oakland batters over the course of the game. Add in the two Athletics who reached base via errors — Chuck Dobson in the 3rd, and Bert Campaneris in the 6th — and Palmer stranded eight runners on base in total. He also struck out eight, by the way.
It ended dramatically when Palmer walked the bases loaded in the ninth but retired Larry Haney on a groundout to complete the no-hitter.
Palmer did his part with the bat, too, going 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and RBI.
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, and Gregg Olson - July 13, 1991
The Orioles’ no-hitter in Oakland against the A’s featured the combined efforts of four pitchers. Bob Milacki, a right-handed starter with a career 4.38 ERA in eight MLB seasons, started the game for the O’s and lasted six innings, throwing 80 pitches while striking out three and walking three as well.
Milacki ceded the mound to Mike Flanagan, who was able to work around a two-out walk to complete his lone inning of work. Mark Williamson was the next reliever to pitch in an inning, and he induced contact for his three outs, including a foul popup and a pair of groundouts. The Orioles’ closer at the time, Gregg Olson, came on and shut the door closed in the ninth with a groundout, then consecutive strikeouts to seal the no-hitter.